Mixed Reaction From Republican Legislators To New Committees

Speaker of the House Kirk Adams and Senate President Bob Burns have each established Leadership PACs to enable them to raise money to support candidate in the 2010 elections.  The committees are called House Victory Committee and Senate Victory Committee and, according to coverage in the Arizona Capitol Times, they are supposed to work “Separate from but in concert with” the Arizona Republican Party’s efforts.

Looking from the most positive perspective, some caucus members believe that the more committees raising money for GOP candidates, the better.  Others are more cautious, pointing out that the Arizona GOP had already established legislative campaign committees for the 2008 cycle that gave each caucus a direct role in fundraising and control over the expenditures as well.  Yet Adams and Burns, who each supported State GOP Chairman Randy Pullen’s opponent, never named their representatives to those committees, instead opting to go it alone.  One Capitol hallway walker pointed out that “They had members who were willing to serve, but they refused to elect them to the campaign committees that were already set up.”

Only time will tell if this is a case of “the more, the merrier” or if the legislative leaders have an agenda that conflicts with that of the State GOP.


  1. Of course they have an agenda. It makes no sense to not join the party. In economic times like these it’s very hard to raise money and all three groups are going to hit up the same people.
    The State GOP is set up and has the history of doing these things. No offense to Adams or Burns but they’re a little wet behind the ears and seem to have bitten off more than they can chew with this one.

  2. Unless I’m confused, I thought that PACs had specific limits on what they could raise, while parties (state and national) could raise huge or unlimited sums from the same sources?

    So I imagine that the leadership PACs are designed as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, the state party’s work. Otherwise, it would be a rather retarded idea, eh?

  3. In the past leadership PACs have been used to keep caucus members “in line”. It will be interesting to watch how these are used.

  4. Not to mention John that state parties are non-profit so the cost structure should be much cheaper if they are spending any significant money.

  5. Just Win Baby says

    Dan is right John. The political parties get a non-profit postage rate on a lot of their mailings. PACs don’t, and that adds up to a much cheaper rate and lots of savings. I’d expect that these leadership PACs are nothing more than a supplemental effort on top of what the party is doing.

  6. Glendale GOP says

    Not for nothing, but winning legislative races is one thing that the state party showed it could do in 2008. The legislative leaders would have to be freakin’ nuts to be trying to replace that effort. It has got to be just something they are doing in addition. I imagine they do it so that if they drop some money into a race, that candidate will feel like they owe them something, and then they’ll support their re-election back into leadership offices?

  7. I’m not beating a drum against any one but the real truth is…..among MANY donors, there remains serious concerns about the choices made by the state party in the past and recently. Offering an alternative allows those that would keep their money to give it to a narrow and specific organization and not fear it goes “elsewhere”, is illegally allocated, or basically is used by an organization that even recently proved it does not make the best decisions. Same goes for some county parties, the dollars will not go to the state GOP but to the county….that is if the donors feel there is a difference.

    This is not an indictment but a pragmatic realization of how to best reap the greatest opportunity.

  8. Ah, there she is, never one to miss a chance. Although in this case, Ann is likely close to part of the truth. Like Ann, Speaker Adams and President Burns are opposed to Randy Pullen and the State Party’s efforts. I think the question that needs to be answered is whether their new effort is designed as an outlet for those who share their views (making it a “supplement” as some have called it) or if it is designed to compete with or replace the party’s effort. One can be beneficial, the other quite damaging. Are they trying to grow the team, or are they at war with the team? Time will tell.

  9. Ah Tim, I am not opposed to Pullen’s efforts…I disagree with his choices and management style. Very different.

    I applaud your ability to almost, if not fully, read it for what it is and not discount the message for the messenger.

    Oh, by the way…is it a double standard to call out someone who posts a comment for doing so in another comment? Hmmmm……

  10. AZ Conservative says

    I for one am not convinced. Adams backed Tony Bouie against Carl Seel and Sam Crump, and he backed Doug Sposito against Frank Antenori and David Gowan. His mentor, Rep. Jeff Flake, is both an open-border guy and now a tax-hiker, just like Bouie and Sposito.

    So Adams gets his butt kicked on the 21st Century Fund and has a caucus that is simply not willing to get on board a tax increase here in Arizona and suddenly he starts a leadership PAC to raise money so that he can have a bigger voice in the 2010 elections? If you voted to eliminate the 21st Century Fund and you’re opposed to the proposed tax hike, be afraid of Adams’ new PAC. He’s not hunting Democrats.

    Gould is right, its about leverage to use against fellow Republicans.

  11. Ann wrote – “is it a double standard to call out someone who posts a comment for doing so in another comment?”

    Not trying to be difficult, but I have no idea what that means…

    And I understood and agreed with much of your message. I just grow weary of the non-stop whack-a-mole that some folks (yourself included) love to play with anything that can be even tangentially tied to Pullen.

  12. Follow the money says

    What I think is interesting is that these PAC’s are being formed and will raise money and pay for mailers ect…Who is going to run them? If i was a betting man, (gave it up years ago to avoid my wife divorcing me) I would look to Sprole and his group. I was told they hired a former RNC guy named Jade who has ties to James.

  13. Supporter of Pullen says

    I perfer that money raised is through the party, but there are a few wealthy lobbyists that still will not give to the party. Maybe it is an excuse that they do not like Randy, but a separate committee calls their bluff.

  14. It seems to me that infighting always blossoms in ANY group–from a lack of focus and miopic forecasting. What the GOP in this state needs is a key issue to rally and band together. Blaming each other is no more than kids arguing until a parent says enough, sits the crew out for a bit. Mom then asks do you want your toys or do I time them out for the rest of the day? All of a sudden, everybody agrees–for awhile 🙂
    So what’s the toy you all want? Is their a prize in the Crackerjax of PACS?

  15. AZ Conservative says

    Your view is right some of the time Gayle, but you’re ignoring that fighting (in or out) is also the natural result of competing interests. That this should occur in politics and governance is hardly a surprise. The post indicates that members of the legislature don’t know yet whether these new committees are part of a common front and mutual effort, or if they are to counter or replace the existing GOP effort.

    That’s a very important difference. Can the Republican members of the caucus trust their Speaker/President to be looking out for their best interests, or is the Speaker/President raising money and trying to supplant the State Party’s natural role in an effort to increase their personal power?

    Much like I disagreed with the “Make Love Not War” crowd back in the day, I don’t think a rousing chorus of “Cumbaya” is an appropriate or helpful suggestion on this issue. Its a serious question that deserves a serious answer from those in charge.

  16. Glendale GOP says

    I think Senator Gould’s comment reinforces AZ Conservative’s comment (#15). If you’re in the House and you vote for a bill after the Speaker tells you to vote against it, can you really expect that he’ll be helping you get re-elected? Or should you expect to see those “caucus” dollars coming at you in a primary on behalf of your opponent?

  17. Follow the money says

    Is there someone who can look up the organizational structure of how this was set up? That will tell alot about where and why this is going on.
    Sounds alot like the same behavior and people who are anti Pullen
    They know they would not get the contracts from the state party to do
    GOTV so they are going to encourage major donors to give money to outside groups which they form. Starve the party feed the pet consultants from bygone days when they had control over the state party.

  18. AZ Conservative–Y’know, I think you’re right and I did not think about it fully. I am saddened of the bickering as a citizen looking on. But this is different isn’t it?

    I may have been the myopic one.

  19. CopperDome says

    The situation is not as simple as some commenters have made it out to be.

    For one thing, Adams is widely expected to run for Speaker again, so the loyalty that might be gained through the PACs could be helpful. However, while Adams did not support Pullen, he has never supported a tax increase. For “AZ Conservative” to insinuate that Adams’ support for Lisa James means he will use the PAC to help pro-tax R’s is ridiculous.

    Burns is term limited and is widely expected to retire. He will not personally benefit from any loyalty that might be gained through the PACs. Either he’s trying to influence who his successor will be or he’s just a true-believer who doesn’t want to see the Senate’s new conservative majority diluted. His history would indicate the latter is mostly the reason, his support for Lisa James notwithstanding.

    Do some major donors who usually give to R candidates mistrust Pullen’s leadership and hesitate (or outright refuse) to donate? – YES

    Would many of them donate to an outside group to help R candidates? – YES (especially after the 2008 results)

    Are the legislative gains in 2008 primarily the result of the AZGOP’s work? – NO (but they did help legislative candidates more than previous AZGOP administrations, which will matter more in 2010)

    Does all this have roots in the ongoing grassroots vs. establishment/Congressional intra-party struggle? – YES

    Do all “non-establishment” conservative legislators really trust how Pullen’s people will use money in legislative races? – NO

    A big variable is whether there will continue to be matching funds for publicly financed candidates. If so, the leadership PACs will have marginal influence. If not, they could have major influence if used correctly.

  20. AZ Conservative says

    Copper Dome: I never made any such insinuation, so sorry you took it that way. I do recall that Crump and Seel took No New Taxes pledges while Adams’ preferred candidate, Tony Bouie, publicly refused to do so. Of course, he was also an open-border, pro-affirmative action Democrat, so the tax position really wasn’t a total surprise. You can interpret Adams support for Bouie how you want, but I’ve never connected support for Lisa James with support for higher taxes.

    I also haven’t passed judgement on any of this. I want to know, like most everyone on here, if this is being done in cooperation with the Party’s efforts or in competition with it. The former is great news, the latter is a terrible thing.

    So how do we find out?

  21. AZ Conservative says

    And Gayle, you’re a class act. I’m with you on getting so very tired of the bickering and sniping. Folks who lose need to learn to do so with a great deal more class. You win or you lose, but then you get on board with the rest of the team. I’m tired of folks who want to be in charge of everyone and everything and campaign on a platform of “team” and “unity”, then when they lose, they take their toys and go home. I miss the days when we could spend out time whuppin’ up on Democrats.

  22. Oberserve says

    Ann Says:
    May 24th, 2009 at 8:13 am
    I’m not beating a drum against any one but the real truth is…..among MANY donors, there remains serious concerns about the choices made by the state party in the past and recently.

    Response…. you most certainly *are* beating a drum. Interesting that you defer to a small group of people’s opinions rather than the will of the party’s membership. Furthermore, you are confirming that this effort is about undermining and going around the party instead of working with it or supplementing it. So much for your claims and crys for “unity” Ann. Hypocrite.

    Ann Says:
    May 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm
    Ah Tim, I am not opposed to Pullen’s efforts…I disagree with his choices and management style. Very different.

    Response: You disagree with Randy quietly paying off (and keeping out of the press) the party’s tax liability that previous “leadership” left? You disagree with GOP wins in the state house, with increasing donations, DESPITE the moneyed elite whom you side with and persuade to not donate money? You disagree with increases in voter reg, etc etc?

    Thank goodness we did not go with the candidate whom you agree with!


  23. Observe:

    Please explain the “increasing donations” the state GOP has received with Pullen as chairman. Provide proof of claim, please. Every damn bit of evidence I’ve seen shows the polar opposite of what you claim. I can provide numbers — can you?

  24. Here is a link to the story referenced in the original post:


    I didn’t see it mentioned in the post or in the comments, but Pullen says he is supportive of the committees.

    Jim Small

  25. Oberserve says

    Absolutely “Her?”

    The day Lisa James lost the election for chair in 2007, the “donors” that Ann referred to turned off their donations, bringing the donations way, way down.

    Within a year, Randy rebuilt the revenue stream just shy of where it was before the “donors” you and Ann refer to turned off their money. And Randy did it *DESPITE* your and Ann’s best efforts!

    This year the numbers also show improvement.

    So, despite your, Ann’s, and a small cabal of elite “donors” you refer to turning off large donations, the party is doing alright – actually quite well due to Randy!

    Furthermore, the party would be doing EVEN BETTER if you and Ann et al. stopped your efforts at DISunification and stopped your hypocracy of cries for unity when you are the very ones at the CORE ROOT of the party’s disunity!

    Love, those working hardest for the party.
    XOXO 🙂

  26. Oberserve says

    Re #24 above.

    Jim, that’s because Randy is a class act unlike those inside of the GOP who oppose him.

  27. @Observe

    Please don’t mistake me for someone who has a dog in this fight — I don’t, and I speak merely as an observer. I’m sure Ann is a nice lady and I bet you’d be great to grab a beer with. While I know people who are politically active, my activity goes no further than consuming political news and expressing my opinion at the ballot box.

    That being said, your argument is peculiar. If I read it right, basically, you’re saying he’s improved from where things were when he started, right? That’s a far cry from actually improving things as they stood before he took over.

    There was a story I read a few months back (LINK: http://www.azcapitoltimes.com/story.cfm?id=10155) that outline the party’s falling donations in the last election cycle. It went from $6.3 million in 2006 to less than $2.5 million last year and was the worst year of the decade.

    You said “Within a year, Randy rebuilt the revenue stream just shy of where it was” before the big donors left. So, I take that to mean that the party will now raise in the neighborhood of $6 Mill for next year, right?

    The story backs up your assertion that the deep pocketed donors held off on giving, but I fail to see how their staying away constitutes a victory, if you believe the party’s job is to raise money in order to promote candidates and register voters.

  28. AZ Conservative says

    Wow, hard to believe this thread is being hijacked into that tired old debate. I can’t figure out how any of it has to do with Randy Pullen and the 2008 elections. Love him, hate him, or whatever, the GOP gained legislative seats. Okay, I got that part. I think the story is about these new committees and the roles they are supposed to play.

  29. heard on the floor says

    From what I hear the Gov is not too happy with this new PAC strategy and Bob Burns is backing down from that approach with the Sentate…will the house now follow ?

  30. Hi all —

    The link I posted earlier is to the initial story on the GOP caucus committees. Here is a link to the story that ran in the most recent edition of the Cap Times:



  31. AZ Conservative says

    Thanks for posting those Jim. Those of us without subscriptions often can’t access the articles when they link to them.

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